Mariatequi

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Fri Feb 16 09:02:54 MST 1996


Louis:

Be on the alert for a new book soon to be released from the excellent 
Humanities Press which is a collection of Mariatequi's writings. This 
father of Peruvian communism was an amazing figure.

He was deeply involved in both the socialist and literary worlds. He put 
out 2 magazines in the 1920s, one devoted to political affairs, the other 
devoted to culture. He was especially interested in indigenous art and 
thinking and made a point of including Incan poems and drawings in his 
magazine.

He was influenced by existentialism and often cited Nietzsche as one of 
his main influences. He paid attention to Heidegger long before the 
dubious German philosopher became trendy.

He wrote hundreds of letters each year far and wide, to intellectuals and 
worker's leaders. He corresponded with French novelists and poets of the 
WWI generation and was particularly close to Henri Barbusse and Romaine 
Rolland.

He evolved a political theory which envisaged a Peruvian socialism based 
on the village-based agriculture of indigenous peoples. His ideas were 
similar to the Narodniks in some respects. He earned the enmity of the 
Comintern for these ideas. He was a "populist" deviationist in their eyes.

I have some questions about his theory, but am still fascinated in what 
he represents as a paradigmatic socialist intellectual. He bears some 
resemblance to figures like Jose Marti and Gramsci, and of course no 
resemblance at all to the close-minded, dogmatic, anti-intellectual types 
attracted to Shining Path.


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